‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Sets Final Season Premiere Date and Unveils Trailer (TV News Roundup)

Netflix has dropped a trailer for the final season of “Vikings: Valhalla,” which is set to release on July 11. The series is created by Jeb Stuart and is a sequel to Michael Hirst’s “Vikings” from MGM Television.

The official logline reads, “Set in the early 11th century, ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ chronicles the heroic adventures of some of the most famous Vikings who ever lived, Leif Eriksson, his sister, Freydis and the Norwegian prince Harald Sigurdsson. Season 3 finds our heroes seven years after the conclusion of Season Two. Freydis is now the undisputed leader of pagan Jomsborg, and Leif and Harald have achieved glory in Constantinople. But greater challenges lie ahead in order for each to reach their ultimate destiny.”

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Returning cast members include Sam Corlett, Frida Gustavsson, Leo Suter, Laura Berlin, David Oakes and Bradley Freegard. Executive producers are Stuart, Morgan O’Sullivan, Michael Hirst, Sheila Hockin, Steve Stark, James Flynn, John Weber, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer and Paul Buccieri.

Watch the trailer below.

In other TV roundup news:

AWARD SHOWS

The Critics Choice Association announced that Randy Sklar and Jason Sklar are set to return as hosts for the sixth annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards. It will take place at the Fairmont Century Plaza on June 15. “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh will be honored with the Career Achievement Award, and former “Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Bergeron will be the first recipient of the Sam Rubin Award, which was created in honor of the late KTLA journalist and longtime member of CCA’s Board of Directors who passed away in May.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “The Traitors” lead this year’s nominations, with each earning five nods. Presenters this year will include Alfonso Ribeiro, Brock Davies and Scheana Shay, Chelsea Lazkani, Drew and Jonathan Scott, Duff Goldman, Jane Lynch, Joe Manganiello, Justin Willman, Kamie Crawford, Kirsten Dunst, Mary Bonnet, Matt Iseman, Nicole Young, Patti Stanger, Phil Keoghan, Retta and Sandra Lee.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

Reni Calister has been named as the new chief content officer Rock’n Robin, the production company run by “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts. Additionally, Quanny Carr is now the director of development. Both Calister and Carr will serve to advance the company’s portfolio of programming and display it as a leader in the industry.

“Reni and Quanny are dedicated storytellers and a ‘dream team’ who are ready to take Rock’n Robin Productions to new heights,” said Roberts. “As we ready to celebrate our ten-year anniversary at RRP, I am excited to embark on this new chapter with Reni and Quanny as they spearhead creative and continue our mission of impactful storytelling that inspires audiences and champions many stories that might otherwise not be told.”

Calister previously served as head of development at Rock’n Robin Productions from 2018 to 2022. In that role, she led the development and production of projects for ESPN, ABC, Disney+, Discovery+, Lifetime and the History Channel.

Carr previously served as director of content at TOGETHXR, where she focused on stories of trailblazing women in sports. She also served as executive producer for “The Syd + TP Show.”

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Gersh has hired Meg Chemburkar as head of affiliate marketing, a new position and, according to Gersh, the first such role at a major agency. Chermburkar’s arrival comes as seven staffers have been promoted in its digital department: Molly Pitzele, Julia Perez and Zoe Berman have been upped to agent, while Juliet Noble, Ariadne Bazigos, Sydney Rosenzweig, and Marisa Yocca have been promoted to coordinator.

Chemburkar “will focus on monetizing clients’ social media channels to generate new revenue streams and crafting innovative campaigns with brand partners,” the agency said. Chemburkar previously worked at affiliate marketing platform LTK, as well as at Ketchum, DBA and TikTok.

Gersh’s digital department – overseen by senior partner Jade Sherman, who serves as head of digital — is seen as a key growth driver for the company following Crestview Partners’ equity investment last year. The department also provides touring support for clients and houses its podcast division.

TRAILERS/FIRST LOOKS

Apple TV+ has unveiled the trailer for its new dark-comedy mystery series “Sunny,” which hits the streamer July 10 with a two-episode premiere.

According to an official logline, the series follows “Suzie (Rashida Jones), an American woman living in Kyoto, Japan, whose life is upended when her husband and son disappear in a mysterious plane crash. As ‘consolation’ she’s given Sunny (Joanna Sotomura), one of a new class of domestic robots made by her husband’s electronics company. Though at first, Suzie resents Sunny’s attempts to fill the void in her life, gradually they develop an unexpected friendship, as together they uncover the dark truth of what really happened to Suzie’s family, becoming dangerously enmeshed in a world Suzie never knew existed.”

Joining the cast with Jones and Sotomura are Hidetoshi Nishijima, Judy Ongg, You, Annie the Clumsy and Jun Kunimura.

Lucy Tcherniak serves as director with series creator Katie Robbins and Jones as executive producers.

Watch the trailer below.

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Apple TV+ has released the trailer for its upcoming family series “Me,” which premieres globally July 12.

According to an official logline, “‘Me’ follows a 12-year-old kid named Ben (Lucian-River Chauhan) who is in the throes of middle school (complete with bullies, crushes and school dances!) as he adjusts to a newly blended family, AND just realized he has super powers. Throughout the 10-episode season, Ben will go on a journey of self-discovery about what having superpowers truly means. He finds an ally in his step-sister Max (Abigail Pniowsky), who helps him harness these powers and uncover the secrets behind the mysteries and tragedies of his community… all while trying to come to terms with what it means to be Ben.”

“Me” was created by Barry L. Levy who serves as showrunner, executive producer and writer with Michael Dowse, Amy Welsh-Hanning and Eben Russell. Aaron Carew serves as the supervising producer. Drowse directs all 10 episodes.

Watch the trailer below.

PROGRAMMING

MGM+ has greenlit the new drama series “The Institute,” based on the novel by Stephen King. The series will star Ben Barnes as Tim Jamieson and Mary-Louise Parker as Ms.Sigsby.

Per an official logline, the series follows “12-year-old genius Luke Ellis [who] is kidnapped, [and] awakens at The Institute, a facility full of children who all got there the same way he did, and who are all possessed of unusual abilities. In a nearby town, haunted former police officer Tim Jamieson has come looking to start a new life, but the peace and quiet won’t last, as his story and Luke’s are destined to collide.”

Jack Bender will serve as director with Benjamin Cavell as writer. The pair will also executive produce.

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The E! network has greenlit the half-hour comedic docuseries “Denise Richards and the Wild Things,” which follows the life of Richards and her family. Starring and executive produced by Richards, the series is set to premiere in 2025.

“My family and I are thrilled to return home to E! Sami and Lola were just 3 and 4 years old when we first shared our story and now we’ve come full circle,” Richards said. “Alex Baskin and I met when I joined ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ and I loved doing that show. This is the perfect partnership for our family’s series as our lives are full of fun, love and unpredictability, and we can’t wait for the audience to share this adventure with us.”

“Denise Richards and the Wild Things” is executive produced by Baskin, Joe Kingsley and Jeff Festa for 32 Flavors. Richards executive produces for Smoke and Mirrors Entertainment. Adam Griffin also serves as executive producer.

Richards appeared as a fulltime cast member on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” for two seasons, before quitting. During the most recent installment — Season 13 — she made a few memorable, notable guest appearances, clashing especially with Erika Jayne and Dorit Kemsley.

Richards is repped by Vault Entertainment, Goodman, Genowm, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher and Jill Fritzo Public Relations. Richards is also represented by Gersh in unscripted.

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OWN’s “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” which follows a group of “longtime friends and frenemies with strong personalities and opinions who live in Huntsville, Ala.,” ranks as Saturday night’s #1 telecast among all key African American demos across both broadcast and cable, according to the cabler. The first six episodes of Season 8 have averaged a 3.16 L3 rating among African American women 25-54. On Saturday, June 8, the series averaged a 3.36 L3 rating in that demo – a 211% ratings increase in the demo versus the Live+SD rating (1.08) making it the show’s the highest Live+SD to L3 ratings increase in ever. According to OWN, more than 3.7 million total viewers have watched Love & Marriage: Huntsville across linear. New episodes air Saturdays at 8 p.m. on OWN.

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Your Home TV will launch “Ways Thru Divorce,” hosted and produced by Ilyssa Panitz, on June 14, on Roku and in more than 110 countries.

Per the logline, “Each 30-minute episode finds the acclaimed journalist and her guests delving into hot-button divorce topics such as legal issues, financial implications, lifestyle changes, dating after divorce, family dynamics, relationships, co-parenting, mental health, career transitions, and more. Panitz’s incisive reporting and empathetic approach, bolstered by her own harrowing experience as a victim of domestic abuse, provide viewers with vital insights from leading experts like television personality Brooke Burke and Billy Eddy, co-founder of The High Conflict Institute and world-renowned speaker.”

Said Panitz: “After surviving domestic violence and a lengthy, costly divorce that drained my life savings, I was struck by the lack of comprehensive resources to guide people through this traumatic life event. With ‘Ways Thru Divorce,’ I will shed light on every aspect of divorce, empowering viewers with the knowledge and support I wish I had access to during my own journey.”

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Fuse Media has struck a deal with DirecTV to carry two of its FAST channels: Somos Novelas, a new Spanish-language channel devoted to global telenovelas, and El Rey Rebel, which features ” Kung Fu classics, martial arts, grindhouse, gritty crime, and extreme sports.”

“With the launches of Somos Novelas and El Rey Rebel on DirecTV, Fuse Media is fulfilling a commitment to deliver content for every segment of the Latino audience,” said Miguel Roggero, Chairman & CEO of Fuse Media. “Somos Novelas and El Rey Rebel were developed to answer the Latino community’s tremendous demand for content that reflects their lives and interests. We’re happy to have this opportunity with DirecTV to help meet that demand with these two channels.”

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“Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Protecting the Wild” has been renewed for a Season 2. Peter Gros and Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant will also return as co-hosts to bring viewers across the U.S., and international destinations to highlight conservation stories.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished for Season One and we look forward to Season Two and taking our viewers on even wilder adventures,” said Jennifer Wulf, vice president of brand marketing for Mutual of Omaha.

Season 1 weekends is available to watch on NBC’s “The More You Know” educational programming block, NBC.com and NBC VOD.

INITIATIVES

Film Independent and FX have named six fellows selected for the inaugural Film Independent Imaginar TV Incubator for Fearless Latinx Creators, in collaboration with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. Daniela Bailes, Marissa Díaz, Jessica Gonzalez, Eric Reyes Loo, George Pérez and Eliana Pipes were chosen for the program.

The Imaginar TV Incubator supports Latinx creators as they participate in a series of workshops, conversations and individual meetings designed to provide them with valuable support and insight into the FX Networks drama programming brand, and direct access to industry leaders.

The first part of the two-week Incubator will be a four-day intensive focused on workshopping selected one-hour drama pilots, deepening pitch skills and gaining access and insights into the FX development process. Creators will pitch their original one-hour drama pilots to FX at the conclusion of the initial intensive. Over the remainder of the program, creators will have individual meetings with creative advisors and executives to develop a second original drama concept that will be pitched to FX on the final day of the Incubator. A $3,000 grant is awarded to each participant, along with travel grants.

Advisors and guest speakers include Wendy Calhoun, Elaine Chin, Kelly Kulchak, Robbie Pickering, Loretta Ramos, Dailyn Rodriguez, April Shih and Veena Sud.

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